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Variomatic

1,293 posts

46 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Durzel said:
I'm curious about that too. We haven't really been told anything about what he has and hasn't said in interviews, but <b>clearly it's enough for the CPS to think they can make those charges stick</b>.
Cynically, much of the reaction on here shows quite clearly that the charges would likely stick regardless of the strength of evidence.

As in all good witch-hunts, the reality is that once charged with something like this you really have to be able to prove yourself innocent (and even that probably won't be enough to go back to your old life).

We'd all hope that the police and CPS wouldn't even think of progressing to charge unless they had solid evidence. But it's a very high profile case, they got an early arrest, and the guy almost certainly <i>will</i> be found guilty if it goes to court even on weak evidence.

I'm not suggesting that they'd charge someone they don't believe is guilty just to close the case, but the normally required standard of evidence might just slip a little in a case where the world and their dog is watching and a conviction is likely because of people's horror at the crime alleged. .

daz3210

5,000 posts

125 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Variomatic said:
Durzel said:
I'm curious about that too. We haven't really been told anything about what he has and hasn't said in interviews, but <b>clearly it's enough for the CPS to think they can make those charges stick</b>.
Cynically, much of the reaction on here shows quite clearly that the charges would likely stick regardless of the strength of evidence.

As in all good witch-hunts, the reality is that once charged with something like this you really have to be able to prove yourself innocent (and even that probably won't be enough to go back to your old life).

We'd all hope that the police and CPS wouldn't even think of progressing to charge unless they had solid evidence. But it's a very high profile case, they got an early arrest, and the guy almost certainly <i>will</i> be found guilty if it goes to court even on weak evidence.

I'm not suggesting that they'd charge someone they don't believe is guilty just to close the case, but the normally required standard of evidence might just slip a little in a case where the world and their dog is watching and a conviction is likely because of people's horror at the crime alleged. .
With all the media hype, what are the chances of him getting a reasonably fair trial? His name is known, there has been a lot of media attention. Any juror is going to know who he is etc., will they truly be able to keep an open mind?


Durzel

2,521 posts

53 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I'm not sure I believe that magistrates are as corruptable as you infer there. If anything the public attention on this will probably make the scrutiny of the evidence and procedure even greater. Magistrates have form for ruling and sentencing disparately to public opinion ("hangin's too good for 'em")

That being said it would be grossly incompetent for the CPS to have gone ahead with this purely on the strength of public attention, so I do believe they have something beyond what we already know to have made those charges. It doesn't seem like there has been much effort to find anyone else involved.

BUT people ought to let the legal machine run and judge this guy based on the weight (or lack thereof) of evidence, rather than what the media has said. The scary thing is, based on just what we know, he could just as easily be anyone who happened to be in the vicinity. We haven't really been told anything beyond the fact he was driving a vehicle there. If there isn't much more than what we've been told, it's a pretty scary prospect.

Breadvan72

18,445 posts

48 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Hard, but not impossible. Most of the posters here would give Mark Bridger a fair trial on the evidence, and only the evidence. The idiots on the Facebook groups, and even some of the people on the thread in the News Section of PH, and the mob outside court this morning, would not.

dazco

3,781 posts

74 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Durzel, I go on a few fora and this thread is by far the fairest thread I have seen concerning this sorry business.

As someone else said, I worry that most of the keyboard warriors are eligible for jury duty.
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Variomatic

1,293 posts

46 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Durzel said:
I'm not sure I believe that magistrates are as corruptable as you infer there. If anything the public attention on this will probably make the scrutiny of the evidence and procedure even greater. Magistrates have form for ruling and sentencing disparately to public opinion ("hangin's too good for 'em")
I'm not suggesting corruption, Durzel, simply that if they believe he's guilty (and thank God we don't allow police or CPS "belief" to count as proof) then knowing that public opinion will probably convict him because of the crime makes a decision to charge on weak evidence easier to justify than if half the country wasn't already calling for his hanging without seeing any of the evidence. It does have a bearing on the realistic prospect of a conviction, after all!

Breadvan72 said:
Hard, but not impossible. Most of the posters here would give Mark Bridger a fair trial on the evidence, and only the evidence. The idiots on the Facebook groups, and even some of the people on the thread in the News Section of PH, and the mob outside court this morning, would not.
Unfortunately I don't think they use FB hate-group membership as a bar to jury service, do they? Back when the NOW started publishing sex offender photos a solicitor I knew commented that you had to assume a jury consists of Sun readers. I suspect that the same advice would apply now to FB hate-group members

Pontoneer

3,464 posts

71 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Breadvan72 said:
Hard, but not impossible. Most of the posters here would give Mark Bridger a fair trial on the evidence, and only the evidence. The idiots on the Facebook groups, and even some of the people on the thread in the News Section of PH, and the mob outside court this morning, would not.
With the right jurors , a fair trial is entirely possible . The right sort of people will dismiss emotion and heresay to consider only the evidence , even if the jury had to be made up of legal and law enforcement professionals .

As with others , I have tried to be careful with what I have said about Mr Bridger , and qualified my opinions with provisos about proper proof of what has been done .

I have also been clear in my personal opinions of what should happen to the guilty party - which may or may not be Bridger .

I do feel sorry for Bridger's family , assuming they have had nothing to do with this matter .

Jasandjules

50,759 posts

114 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Variomatic said:
We'd all hope that the police and CPS wouldn't even think of progressing to charge unless they had solid evidence. But it's a very high profile case, they got an early arrest, and the guy almost certainly <i>will</i> be found guilty if it goes to court even on weak evidence.
Nor would it be the first time.

It's a very difficult line really, how do the police find suspects without the help of the public but then enable a trial where the jurors don't have preconceptions based upon the police actions.....

daz3210

5,000 posts

125 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Durzel said:
I'm not sure I believe that magistrates are as corruptable as you infer there.
The eventual outcome will be a trial by jury though wouldn't it. So magistrates will not be involved.

As has been pointed out, if you get a lot of FB Hate Page members, you might just as well hang him now.


Breadvan72

18,445 posts

48 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
There is a limit to jury vetting, but in this case I would expect jurors to be questioned by the Prosecutor or Judge about their prior knowledge of the case. The trial should be held some distance from the home village.

daz3210

5,000 posts

125 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Breadvan72 said:
There is a limit to jury vetting, but in this case I would expect jurors to be questioned by the Prosecutor or Judge about their prior knowledge of the case. The trial should be held some distance from the home village.
Even at the other end of the country though, the limited info that has been on TV etc could still have tainted some peoples view.

But, I guess anyone serving on a jury could rightly expect the questions I asked earlier to be answered in full - i.e. how can they say murder etc without a body being found.

One thing is certain though, with all the 'hang him' calls, he is most probably in the best place possible. After all, while inside no-one can hopefully get to him, and if after it all he is found not guilty, at least he will be safe at the time of release.


Schermerhorn

1,933 posts

74 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
I wonder if someone else is involved such as an accomplice or a network of child killers, peadophiles, child sex slave dealers etc. Operation Ore immedialtely springs to mind.

All those missing children all over the world, one must wonder where they ended up and just how many deviant people are out there.

It really makes you very very angry. Just for once, I wish we had Saudi justice in this country.

Pontoneer

3,464 posts

71 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
daz3210 said:
Even at the other end of the country though, the limited info that has been on TV etc could still have tainted some peoples view.

But, I guess anyone serving on a jury could rightly expect the questions I asked earlier to be answered in full - i.e. how can they say murder etc without a body being found.

One thing is certain though, with all the 'hang him' calls, he is most probably in the best place possible. After all, while inside no-one can hopefully get to him, and if after it all he is found not guilty, at least he will be safe at the time of release.
That raises an interesting point .

If , during their deliberations , a jury feels that something has not been made clear during the trial , and therefore cannot arrive at a verdict - can they come back into the courtroom and ask questions ?

Breadvan72

18,445 posts

48 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
They sometimes send a note to the Judge, but the hearing would not usually be reconvened.

daz3210

5,000 posts

125 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Pontoneer said:
daz3210 said:
Even at the other end of the country though, the limited info that has been on TV etc could still have tainted some peoples view.

But, I guess anyone serving on a jury could rightly expect the questions I asked earlier to be answered in full - i.e. how can they say murder etc without a body being found.

One thing is certain though, with all the 'hang him' calls, he is most probably in the best place possible. After all, while inside no-one can hopefully get to him, and if after it all he is found not guilty, at least he will be safe at the time of release.
That raises an interesting point .

If , during their deliberations , a jury feels that something has not been made clear during the trial , and therefore cannot arrive at a verdict - can they come back into the courtroom and ask questions ?
I was thinking more that in the process of the trial, full details should be divulged by the prosecution, proving (if a conviction were to be appropriate) why they believed murder to be the correct charge.

A personal thought on the go back and ask questions is, would this be giving the prosecution a second bite at proving its case?

Breadvan72

18,445 posts

48 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Of course the prosecution puts forward at trial why it contends that the defendant should be convicted! That's what the prosecutor is for.

The jury questions could assist either prosecution or defence, depending on the question and the answer.


daz3210

5,000 posts

125 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Breadvan72 said:
Of course the prosecution puts forward at trial why it contends that the defendant should be convicted! That's what the prosecutor is for.
Exactly my thought. The questions should be answered for the jury as part of the trial.

Breadvan72 said:
The jury questions could assist either prosecution or defence, depending on the question and the answer.
Sorry, badly worded. I meant reconvening the court as opposed to passing a note.



Breadvan72

18,445 posts

48 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
It could give either side the opportunity for a touch of esprit d'escalier.

daz3210

5,000 posts

125 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Breadvan72 said:
It could give either side the opportunity for a touch of esprit d'escalier.
Out of interest, can a jury ask for a point to be clarified during a trial? Or is it not the done thing for a jury to ask anything?


Breadvan72

18,445 posts

48 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
It does sometimes happen - the jury sends a note. After retiring, the jury can request a transcript of some evidence, or ask for guidance on a point of law.
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